Swallows and Amazons birthday party and birthday present ideas

Holding an outdoor party with a Swallows and Amazons theme is a great idea, especially if your guests are up for bringing their own tents. A (sensible) campfire and either swimming or archery with geo-cashing or a treasure hunt will keep your guests occupied. Everyone can dress up as explorers or pirates.

There have been some wonderful cake designs posted on Facebook. This impressive creation was put together by Evie and Sam Rose:

Over the years the most amazing ‘Swallows and Amazons’ creations have become quite famous. I have put up a few more ideas on Pinterest here

The cookery book writer and ‘Great British Bake Off’ finalist Miranda Gore Browne transformed her garden into Wild Cat Island, served iced buns and a cake worthy of a pirate feast, sending everyone home with old-fashioned sweets in a tin mug.  You can see some of her wonderful party ideas here

Miranda Gore Browne mugs

You could hang ‘Swallows and Amazons’ flags or bunting. The Gingerbread  House show you how to make these:

Pippa Middelton and her family, who are related to Arthur Ransome, have a company called Party Pieces who have loads of ideas for Pirate Parties on their blog here. They cater for the younger age group but do sell chocolate pieces of eight and a retractable telescope very like Titty’s is available from their website for only £2.99. I liked the idea of an inflatable parrot, although properly it should be a green one.

I found these 38mm badges and fridge magnets for sale on eBay. They’ve used my own drawing of the crossed flags, without permission, but never mind. They might be something fun to award as prizes for games such as ‘Walk the Plank’ or catching crabs, which you could do literally if you live by the sea. You might find a few ideas for party games here.

I’ve been collecting further ideas for Swallows and Amazons presents. The Nancy Blackett Trust shop has some great things for sale, stocking these porcelain mugs, T-shirts and hats for Amazon pirates of all ages, sometimes stocking these:


StudioCanal have broadened their collection of movie memorabilia on offer to include cushions. They also sell mugs, mouse mats, prints and 400-piece jigsaw puzzels. I like these 300 piece jigsaws.

A scene with the Swallows from Swallows and Amazons
-A scene with the Swallows from ‘Swallows and Amazons’ (1974) –

I once found this lovely design for Swallows and Amazons bags made by Rachel:

Swallows and Amazons bag made by Rachel

I’ve listed more gift ideas here

A year’s subscription of Classic Sailor magazine makes a good present for adults as it keeps coming all year.

Why not give a year’s membership to The Arthur Ransome Society? For information please click here.

Or chose a book. They always make good presents.

The Making of Swallows and Amazons' by Sophie Neville


~Sophie Neville at Aldeburgh Bookshop~

Author: Sophie Neville

Writer and charity fundraiser

14 thoughts on “Swallows and Amazons birthday party and birthday present ideas”

  1. Sophie, you HAVE to tell us more about the info slipped into this nice blog entry about how AR is now related to the young heir to the throne!!

    1. ‘Arthur Ransome’s sister, Joyce (1892-1970) married Hugh Ralph Lupton (b. 1893), the son of Leeds Lord Mayor Hugh Lupton. Joyce and Hugh Ralph had four children… who shared a governess with their second cousin, Peter Francis Middleton (1920-2010), grandfather of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.’ paraphrased from Wikipedia (and featured in Hello magazine, naturally.)

    2. ‘A new biography on Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) by Claudia Joseph, entitled Princess In Waiting, reveals that Hugo Lipton, the brother-in-law of the author of the classic adventure story set in the Lake District, was cousin to Kate’s great-grandmother Olive. Hugo was married to the country chronicler’s sister Joyce.’

      Ransome the “country chronicler”? What would he think of getting a mention in Hello? (for ref: http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities-news-in-pics/24-04-2009/51359/ )

      1. Excellent!! So we might even have the scenario of Trotsky’s former secretary visiting forebears of young George and Charlotte Windsor. Thanks!

  2. Some wonderful ideas here, thank you Sophie. And the Ransome/Middleton relationship was news to me!

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